Rising folk singer-songwriter Oliver Anthony made headlines last week after he chose to cancel a gig in Tennessee due to high ticket prices. Now, the show has been rescheduled to a new venue.
Anthony, who has quickly risen to fame with his controversial single “Rich Men North of Richmond,” was slated to perform at the Cotton Eyed Joe in Knoxville on September 27. However, after learning about the expensive ticket prices — which included $90 regular admission and $200 for meet-and-greet — he cancelled the show.
“That’s not acceptable,” he wrote on Instagram. “My shows should never cost more than $40, ideally no more than $25. Hell, out of the 4 shows we have currently done, 2 of them have been completely free.”
He noted that it was his fault for not being more “directly involved with the venues,” writing that a “miscommunication took place.”
The show is now scheduled to take place at the Knoxville Convention Center on Friday, September 29, presented by 96.7 Merle. Already, the gig is sold out.
The Cotton Eyed Joe responded to the cancellation in a now-deleted post and explained that the show negotiations were between the venue and Anthony’s manager Brian Prentice. According to the venue, Prentice verbally stated that Anthony requested $120,000 in compensation, plus two nights hotel accommodations. Additionally, he said he would offer meet-and-greets ahead of the show.
The venue said it suggested $99 per ticket for the concert and a concert/meet-and-greet combo ticket for $199. Prentice agreed to the prices, asked the venue to write-up a formal contract, and said the venue could announce the show, the Cotton Eyed Joe said.
During the ticket sale on September 11, the venue called the response “tremendous,” noting that the ticketing system was temporarily shut down as 460 concert tickets and 43 meet-and-greet tickets were sold. However, the venue said that “what happened next was very much to the surprise of Cotton Eyed Joe” when Anthony took his concerns to social media.
“Anthony’s statements were beyond misleading and did not at all appropriately represent the conversations that had occurred throughout the process to create a formal agreement,” the Cotton Eyed Joe said. “It wasn’t until after the media frenzy ensued that Cotton Eyed Joe received a phone call from Prentice expressing concern for the prices that had been previously agreed to, verbally.”
During the same day as the social media frenzy, the Cotton Eyed Joe said Prentice notified the venue of Anthony’s wishes to call-off the show.
“Had Anthony and Prentice first reached out to us for a professional conversation about their concerns with the contract, Cotton Eyed Joe feels confident an agreement could have been reached in a respectful manner. Instead, what has happened has portrayed Cotton Eyed Joe in a disparaging manner plagued with misinformation.”
The Cotton Eyed Joe said they hope their statement helps “appropriately outline the facts” and wished Anthony “nothing but the best in his professional endeavors.”
Anthony responded back to the venue’s claims, writing that “the most I’ve ever made on a show is $35,000.” He said he personally talked to the venue about not charging for meet-and-greets, which is why he was upset with the $200 price tag, noting, “I felt like they suckered us into playing there just so they could make extra money off of y’all.”
“That being said, I wish them the best,” Anthony said. “All the fault ultimately is with me. I should have been more thoroughly involved in the booking, and I should probably consider using a professional consultant in this area. There’s no reason why tickets should have went up for sale before a contract was signed.”
Following the Knoxville show, Anthony is slated to take the stage next in Marion, North Carolina. He said that the gig is a very special place, as the venue used to be a paper mill where he worked third shift.
Last Updated on September 18, 2023